2 chicks can't roll over off of their backs.....why?


"Ain't nuttin' like having da' blues"
13 Years
May 30, 2008
Washington State
A chick that hatched 2 days ago and another chick that hatched yesterday morning can't get off their backs if they fall over or another chick plows into them. They can both stand and walk around but every few minutes I'm flippin' em back over. Never had a little chick do this.

How come they can't roll back over by themselves?
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Any updates?

My suggestion would be to separate them from the other chicks and give them some scrambled eggs and a dit of sugar water. Then step back and let them get stronger or pass on.
I am having this same problem. My chicks arrived at the farm supply Monday from McMurray. All were healthy, active, eating & drinking (water w/ vitamins & electrolytes). Last night I had one who would some how end up on her back and could not get back right side. If I turned her over, next thing I knew she was back. Died last night.

Good day 5 happy chicks all day...eat, sleep. Must have checked on them 20 times today. Husband came home from work and we had two more upside down on their back. Already lost one. One in a separate box and been giving her some of the electrolyte water via eyedropper.

Can't figure it out the remaining three drinking and eat and wild!

Anyone have ideas on what is going on here.. I really don't want to loose another one.
I don't know for sure, but it sounds like it could be a neurological or vitamin deficiency? Try giving them some Poly-vi-Sol vitamin drops for infants (without iron) and see if it helps. Make sure you're giving them electrolites in their water too.

I hope they pull through!
Lost my 3rd one with this. They were all wyandottes (1 Columbia & 2 blue laced red). The remaining 3 are still running wild with full crops and drinking the vitamin/electrolyte water.

Wish I knew what was the culprit for this. I hate to loose them but always nice to know what I am doing wrong or what was happening.
They get vitamins and gro-gel upon going into the brooder. He was running around just fine the day before yesteday eating and drinking. He did have hobbles on his legs because it appeared that one leg was longer than the other but with the hobbles on he was getting around just fine.....he just couldn't get off his back once he was there, if he was there too long he would be gasping for air. They were seperated from the other babies as they along with a few other were the last to hatch and a couple days younger than some of them, I feared that they would get trampled

The other little tiny and I mean tiny baby is doing fine.......up and running around doing what everyone else is doing but man she is small. She is able to get off her back with out any problems now.

Last night I decided that since the boy was having so much difficulty and not improving, was definitely worse yesterday that it would be more humane to cull.

Thanks for the suggestions everyone!

I'm sorry to hear about your babies
.......I don't know what caused this, it was just horrible to see him on his back and helpless to get himself back over.
It seems so strange with everyone out there that it is just Pink and I with this problem.

We both have been giving them vitamins/lytes and others are not having this problem so not likely the vitamin problem. How can the chicks go from perfectly healthy and running around to such poor health in just a few hours? I am one of those who wants to understand what went wrong so if I can prevent it again I will.
I think everyone has the same problem every now and then. Not trying to be cold hearted, but some just fail to thrive. I have had chicks do this and I was only able to save one of them. I used Poly Vi Sol and Sugar Water. Make sure they eat and drink. You might want to make them a mash.
Reviving this old thread to see if anyone has any new answers for this difficulty. My bantam who had a nasty hatch is doing this, she also has splay legs so I've got her splinted with bandaids. The chick climbs, walks and peeps just fine except seems a little too dizzy for going into day 3, and it falls over and sleeps on it's back! Any new advice, new experiences with this?
I know this is an old thread, but I have the same problem. Over 36 chicks hatched, 2 can't roll over when they get knocked on their backs by their siblings. They are 2 days old now. One of the chicks has redness and slight swelling at the hocks. If someone someday figures out why this happens, I'd love to hear about it.

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